Originally Posted by hawk eye
So many seem to have this notion, "Federer is the better shotmaker, Nadal Nadal wins by consistency, grinding, pounding Fed's BH etc. "
The last may be true, but last match, like many of the previous matches between these two, I noticed Nadal makes the most unbelievable shots and was the one who gets the biggest ooh's and aah's from the crowd. His passing shots on the run, in ' beaten' position when he's almost in the stadium's catacombs, flying past a stunned Fed who jsut thought he has hit a winner, are unique in the game and unrivaled in tennis history.
He's also the only one who can pull off curling forehands regurlarly, and hit BH passing shots with pace and accuracy when the ball is already behind him..
But still, Fed's the 'shotmaker'. the only reason I can think of is because usually he hits more winners, also due this stronger serve which gives him more chances to end the point quickly. He's also more agressive and has a more fluent style but that doesn't make him a better shotmaker.
But I'd say the definition of a greatest shotmaker is the one who makes the most 'impossible' shots, which leave the public totally surprised and speechless. Yes, Fed made some spectacular tweeners and overheads over the years, but these still are an exception where Nadal makes his trademark shots every match multiple times. Often on important points, too.
To me people are just echoing each other, because "a grinder just can't be a better shotmaker". The type "Lendl has no talent, but is all hard work" talk you had for along time when he was dominating the game. In retrospect, the common opinion on that one has at least slightly changed.
There is nothing to debunk, specially when you're taking your conclusions from only one match, and a recent one.
Make no mistake, Nadal is an excelent shotmaker, specially when he is put on defensive positions. One of the best if not the best in history of pulling fantastic defensive shots.
This match had Nadal with more winners (even on Nadal's forehand side), which is often an exception regardless of the surface.
To make a comparison, Federer had significantly more winners than Nadal (specially on the forehand side) on their final match at the AO in 2009, and while Nadal pulled many fantastic shots throughout that match, Federer arguably threw even more as indicated by the superior number of winners.
It's only natural as Federer declines, while his footspeed, footwork and offensive ability decreases, that his rival in physical prime form and on a slow surface where winners are increasingly difficult to be hit, even more so if you account the level of defense Nadal brings, is gonna hit more winners and make a better shotmaking appearance.
It's only the natural way of things, and may happen again if they play again on similar conditions (unless Fed is having a good day on his forehand, which IMO he wasn't hitting that well in their last match).
If you wanna prove that Nadal is a better shotmaker, you better show stats and information that indicate this notion than your impression of their more recent match.